Hamilton, Bermuda 30 August 2023 – The 6th Annual BEDC Summer Student Entrepreneur Program ended with an awards and graduation ceremony for the participating nine students on Friday, August 25th. The Minister, the Hon. Jason P. Hayward, JP, MP, the BEDC’s Chairman, Jache Adams, BEDC staff, mentors, family and friends, were on hand at the celebration to congratulate the students.
Minister Hayward welcomed and congratulated the students, “I am sure you have learned on this journey, that starting a business requires hard work and dedication. But in the long run, it can be rewarding. As a result of your perseverance, you have experienced success and realized your initial goals.” He continued “Congratulations again on your commitment to your businesses and serving your community. As young entrepreneurs, you make a difference, and tonight, we celebrate your success.”
The participating students who received their certificates included:
- Jahmir Celestine of The Nail Medic
- Teneik Wallen of Dolled By Neiks
- Essence Davis of Oh My Cake Bakery
- Jazarah Codrington-Edmead of Serene Scenes
- Marcus Simons-Rewan of Special Misfits
- Nico Bean of Flow by Nico
- Shammai Smith of Forever Green
- Zanna Minors of Braidz by Za
- Zea Swainson of Paintz
Each student had an opportunity to present an overview of their business and shared how the SSEP helped to prepare them as entrepreneurs. Nico Bean had this to say about his time in the program, “It’s been great, and I would highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to start a business or grow their existing business. The support from both the BEDC and my fellow members was immense. It’s been great learning about business and networking with my peers. I’ve created friendships and potential collaborations in the future.”
The SSEP students between ages 14-21 earn a livable wage and save funds during the summer period as an alternative to securing summer employment for a period of 8 weeks. The program was designed to promote a culture of enterprise and entrepreneurship as a viable career option and inspire and equip young people in the local community to learn and succeed through enterprise. To incentivize participation, a competitive element was also included in the program. In addition to the money earned selling products and services, the students competed against each other to earn the most revenue. The three participants with the highest revenues earned an additional financial reward.
This year, Zanna Minors was the first-place winner, generating the most revenue throughout the program, and was awarded a $1,000 prize. Taking home second place and a $750 prize was Zea Swainson and winning third place and a $500 prize was Shammai Smith.
Impressively, the nine young entrepreneurs have truly set a high bar, pulling in over $17,000 in just six weeks of sales. Their accomplishments demonstrate an exceptional level of drive and skill, underscoring the promising future of the caliber of Bermuda’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
Students were also awarded special certificates to reflect their hard work throughout the eight-week program:
- Best Business Branding Award – Zea Swainson
- The “Get Up & Go” Award – Zanna Minors
- The Innovation Award – Marcus Simons-Rewan
- Most Growth Award – Shammai Smith
- Best Business Pivot Award- Jazarah Codrington-Edmead
- Best Social Media Presence Award – Nico Bean
- Creativity Award – Essence Davis
Students were able to showcase and sell their products and services, all thanks to the kind support of several entities. The City of Hamilton waived vending fees for the Meet & Greet on the City Hall Lawn. Washington Properties supported by sponsoring a free spot in the Washington Mall, and the Chamber of Commerce was generous enough to waive fees for the students at Harbour Nights.
Partnerships like these are really important as they give our young business talents the chance to learn by doing, which is great for building a strong and successful small business community for the future.
Deshun Simmons, Assistant Communication & Development Officer, and Program Coordinator, stated, “I am very proud of each student. I have seen tremendous growth within all of them. The program’s goal is not just to assist participants with earning money over the summer, but also to impart an entrepreneurial mindset that will assist them as they prepare for their futures working in the business arena or as entrepreneurs.”
The Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) is Bermuda’s source of free, confidential business advice. The mission is to actively assist the development of a strong, well-managed and prosperous local business sector in Bermuda. The key objective of the BEDC remains providing a broad range of business advice, counsel and financial assistance to local businesses in Bermuda.